The possibility of reaching a bipartisan agreement regarding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is practically over, and it might lead to its shutdown. The program was created by the Obama administration to protect young immigrants brought illegally to the United States from being deported.
A few days ago, Republicans and Democrats tried to make a deal regarding the protection of the illegal immigrants that are brought to the country when they are kids. The program includes about 800,000 immigrant children. Trump said that hopes for a deal are “probably dead.” He blamed it on the Democrats and said that the United States’ lottery immigration program must end. However, many people involved in the meeting said Trump’s racist comments are to blame.
“DACA is probably dead because the Democrats don’t really want it, they just want to talk and take desperately needed money away from our Military,” said President Trump via Twitter.
Trump: Why should the U.S accept immigrants from ‘shithole’ countries?
Last week, members of the democrat and the Republican Party tried to reach an agreement on the immigration reform as part of the federal spending bill that needs to pass by Friday in the Congress to avoid a government shutdown. However, every chance of a possible agreement crumbled down during a meeting held by a small bipartisan group on Thursday in the oval office, and many blame it on Trump.
Apparently, the president desperately asked during the meeting why the United States should accept immigrants from “shithole” countries such as Haiti, El Salvador and African nations over those immigrants that come from European countries. Senate Minority Whip Richard J. Durbin (Ill.), who was the only Democrat representative in the Oval Office meeting, said on Friday that Trump did use the vulgar word, and not just once but in several occasions.
The Republican senator, Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.), released a statement where she didn’t explicitly confirm the use of “shithole” by Trump to refer to those countries but did backed up Durbin’s account.
Trump vaguely denied the whole thing on Friday, and on Sunday said that the negotiations on immigration were failing. He said Democrats only want to take money away from the military. Republicans, on the other hand, are looking forward an increase in the military spending.
Senator Schumer: ‘To impugn Durbin’s integrity is disgraceful’
A pair of Republican senators, Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Senator David Perdue of Georgia who were in the meeting, previously said they didn’t recall Trump using that vulgar word. Today both of them denied Trump ever said that phrase.
“I’m telling you he did not use that word, George,” Senator Perdue said. He also accused Senator Durbin of making a “gross misrepresentation” of what happened in the meeting: “It’s not the first time Senator Durbin has done it, and it is not productive to solving the problem we’re having”, Perdue added.
Cotton, on the other hand, declared in an interview with CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday he didn’t hear anything and that he was sitting as far from Trump as Durbin was. Both Republican senators referred to a statement made by Durbin in 2013 regarding comments he said were made by a Republican leader during a meeting at the White House. The report was denied by the Obama administration’s spokesman later. Therefore, they said that Durbin has a history of misrepresenting what happens in meetings at the White House.
Nonetheless, Ben Marter, a spokesman for Durbin, said on Twitter that credibility is something built by being honest all the time, and that is something characteristic of Durbin, but not of Senator Perdue. Marter said that can be confirmed by anyone who has dealt with both of the senators.
On the other hand, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) backed Durbin vehemently. He said Durbin had written a bill to protect young illegal immigrant and give them the opportunity to have the citizenship. He also noted that impugning Durbin’s integrity is a disgraceful thing and that whether people agree with him on the immigration matter or not, he is one of the most honorable members of the Senate.
Sen. Rand Paul said, during an interview on NBC, that both sides are destroying possibilities of dealing anything meaningful.
Other Republicans have backed Durbin, for example, Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) said on Sunday that he had spoken to the participants of the meeting right after it ended and before Trump was accused of saying that phrase, and he confirmed that they (the participants) said the words were used.
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, who was also in the meeting said she didn’t recall Trump using those exact words, but she recognized Trump used a “strong language.”
“There’s no question what he said was racist. There’s no question what he said was un-American and completely unmoored from the facts,” Said Sen. Michael F. Bennet (D-Colo.)
Source: The Washington Post